Summary: The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Essay

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, exposes the story of Henrietta Lacks; a black woman not only under privileged but also under medical research without her nor her family’s consent. Skloot’s approach to the Lacks family in researching and writing the novel is unethical and can be analyzed as well as supported through her leading intent for the novel, the originality of the language used, and her personal claim to ‘white privilege.’
In April 2012, the University of San Diego waited to hear the Dalai Lama speak upon ethics. Ethics is defined as the science of moral duty and the philosophical study of moral values and rules (“Ethics: A General Introduction”). With this, the Dalai Lama enlightened students and faculty on…

Several covers showcase “Her death changed the history of medicine” and “Doctors took her cells without asking”. These medical phrases grab our attention and steer us away from the main point of this story. Throughout her text, Skloot answers why Henrietta Lacks cells were taken and what makes them ‘immortal’ but she does so in a far from compassionate manner. Her reasoning behind the writing and years of research lies from a community college biology class when she was 16 years old, where He-La cells were introduced. Over the years, Skloot became obsessed many knew nothing of this cell’s source. “As I worked my way through graduate school studying writing, I became fixated on the idea of someday telling Henrietta’s story” (Skloot 6). Skloot used her own personal vendetta as her motivation to begin researching and writing this novel, not taking into account the consequences of exploiting the privacy of the Lacks family. “she is mining [black folks] to produce the treasure that will be her book and lead to her fame.” stated by bell hooks in her Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice, only further supporting Skloot’s unethical intentions for the completion for what would become a best-seller….